“Your Fingers for a Corset” originally only a line from the poem “Her” written by Hellena Jane for this project, perfectly embodied the sinister fairy tale femme fatale narrative being portrayed and became massively influential towards the final garment.
Heavily influenced also by nature and natural forms the dress took on the silhouette of a mushroom, pushing for unique structure plans and copious trial and error to create the final garment. Designing for the male character too helped create a more rounded outcome for the female design using elements to link the two costumes. The illustrations done with these final designs created a perfect storyboard to help when planning the photoshoot and to be used alongside the poems when they are shared publicly in future.
Deeper meanings within the decoration hint towards the fact the character is not all she seems. The skeletal hands are obscured beneath ivy and flowers, so they are not obvious on first glance. Ivy already has dangerous connotations with its links to poison ivy and the hand silk painted and embroidered flowers contain subtle meanings of forsaken love and death due to Victorian floriography. The blood beading, actually based off mushroom guttation a process that looks like blood and gives off the same dangerous feeling when first seen, is kept mainly to the back of the garment so her victims will not see this or the hands until she turns around. Along with the overall mushroom shape and the fear of beautiful poisonous mushrooms the characters intentions of evil amongst her initial innocent portrayal are all laid out clearly when the garment is fully explored.
This project prompted a whole new skill set from a one-of-a-kind structure, to delicate surface design and traditional corsetry techniques to bring to life the character imagined by the poet. It was a challenging project to undertake improving problem solving skills and many technically advanced making techniques. The final photos in location were the perfect representation of the poems and the final video outcome on YouTube illustrates the poem effectively and exhibits the dress in the environment it was intended for.